OK, so here's my situation: I'm running a new Windows-7 64-bit PC, but I have to run some old 16-bit work database software on it. So I've set up Virtual PC XP Mode in general and that is fine in general.

However the software that I am using is so old it doesn't use an installer it just has the files copied onto the PC in a folder and run a shortcut to the application/exe file.

The problem I then have is that I can't seem to run that program seamlessly from my Windows-7 Start Bar like I can with other XP Mode programs that are "installed" and thus show in the Windows7 start bar under the 'XP Mode Applications' section and this means that I actually have to launch the full XP Mode virtual desktop every time, then start the program up, rather than just clicking that program from my Windows-7 Start Bar and it auto-loading that program as a 1-click background load of the virtual PC and visual loading of the program. Does that make sense?

So, is there any way to get this program to be considered as an 'installed application' so it'll be available to pin to the Windows7 start bar to run seamlessly?

Edit in response to the answer from "KEN" and his suggestions:

I have already gone through setting the program up with this type of shortcut, and having done that it did/does then appear on the 'Virtual PC' start menu under All Programs. However this doesn't add it to the list of Applications when looking at the Virtual PC Applications on the 'Windows-7' host PC start menu.

I checked the suggestion from that 'trouble-shoot' link that Ken gave where it mentions about ensuring it's not in an exclusion list in the Registry, and it's not. I believe it's kind of the 'opposite' issue to that whereby since it's not "installed" software it doesn't have whatever registry or computer entries that identify it as an installed Application. So where, and what, would it be checking to decide which items should be considered as applications to be shown in the Virtual PC Applications section? (other than where it checks for items to 'exclude' from the list which my program is not)

migrated from stackoverflow.com Sep 22 '11 at 10:38

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Here's how to trouble-shoot the Auto-Publishing feature of Windows Virtual PC. First thing to try: create a shortcut to the .exe for All Users, which for XP is at %SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs


Making an installer for the software or even for just a shortcut to it would probably be the easiest solution. There are several free installer creation programs available. One I have used in the past is Inno Setup.

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